Transport and Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges recently released details of the first round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund. The fund is part of the Government’s ambitious electric vehicles (EVs) programme aimed at helping accelerate the uptake of EVs in New Zealand.
Up to $4 million is available in 2016/17, with up to $6 million available in future years.
Bridges said the government had set a target to double the number of EVs on the road each year to reach 64,000 by 2021 and the fund was one of the initiatives announced in May to help achieve the target.
“The principle of the fund is to accelerate the uptake of electric and other low emission vehicles in New Zealand that might not otherwise occur. For example, it will focus on projects that aim to increase the variety and supply of EVs available, the availability of charging infrastructure and projects that are developing innovative products or systems.”
The first funding round will primarily look at projects that can be implemented relatively quickly.
“We want to support innovative New Zealand organisations to get projects up and running as quickly as possible so we can see more electric vehicles replacing fossil-fuelled ones on New Zealand roads,” he said.
Bridges said the benefits of increasing uptake of electric vehicles were far-reaching – they were cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles, were powered by renewable electricity supply, and reduced emissions.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) will administer the fund, with the first funding round expected to open in mid-September with funding decisions made before the end of 2016.